Jamaica native Sabina Allen was a criminal justice major when she attended private Campbell University in North Carolina. Now she’s part of criminal justice history.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency announced Thursday that Allen, 27, has been slapped with a four-year suspension from track and field after testing positive for two banned substances at a May 2021 meet in Chula Vista.
A triple jumper among the top 35 in the world last year, Allen was caught up in an investigation growing out of the first use of the Rodchenkov Anti-Doping Act, or RADA.
USADA CEO Travis Tygart said in a statement that RADA was designed to facilitate information-sharing and allow groups worldwide to better expose “networks of conspirators working against clean sport, which is exactly what happened in this case.”
He said information shared by law enforcement from the first RADA case involving Eric Lira allowed USADA to “expose the truth” in Allen’s case.
The Associated Press reported that arbitrators determined that Allen’s claims that she used performance enhancers unintentionally — or that the positives came because drugs were manipulated — were false.
“Those determinations were reached with the help of messages that undermined Allen’s defense and were provided by federal prosecutors in the Lira case,” said The AP.
Allen, of Norcross, Georgia, leaped 46 feet 7¼ inches to win the triple jump at the Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center on May 29, 2021. It was her best jump of the year. (She took 12th in the long jump that day, behind jumpers including Olympic champion Brittney Reese, the former San Diego Mesa College coach.)
Allen tested positive for phentermine and di-hydroxy-LGD-4033, a metabolite of LGD-4033, as the result of a urine sample collected at the Chula Vista Field Festival, USADA said.
According to an arbitration finding, Allen claimed on a doping form that she had drunk “2¾ [cans of] Red Bull” but declared no other supplements or medications.
She was notified of her provisional suspension on June 24, 2021, and eventually asked for a delay in proceedings to test her supplements.
On Dec. 16, 2021, Allen asked for an evidentiary hearing, which finally took place June 1 — eight days ago — via video conference overseen by arbitrator David M. Benck. Allen represented herself.
An Alabama law school graduate, Benck is a member of the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland. His Wikipedia profile says he briefly served on the USA Gymnastics board and was brought in to oversee the board restructuring and CEO replacement in the wake of the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.
Allen was one of 505 track athletes drug-tested at competitions by USADA in 2021 (not counting Paralympic athletes), according to a USADA database.
As a 5-foot-7 senior in 2018, Allen was the first female All-American in Campbell track and field history, when she took fifth in the triple jump for the Fighting Camels at the NCAA Division I Indoor Championships at College Station, Texas.
That June, the native of Spanish Town, Jamaica, took 16th in the NCAA outdoor meet triple jump at the University of Oregon.
As a 16-year-old sophomore, she was featured in a Jamaican newspaper, the Gleaner.
“I am 100% excited,” she said after winning the gold medal at the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association meet in 2011. I am overwhelmed and frightened over what I have done.”
She said her biggest motivator was her mother.
“Family support has been good, my mother and my father,” Allen said. “My mother is actually in America now and I feel bad that she is not here, but when I jump, I just tell myself that I am jumping for her.”